Bright view propels Hain Celestial to record high

Hain Celestial hits all-time high on strong 4Q performance, full-year outlook above Street

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Hain Celestial Inc. surged to an all-time high on Thursday after the food company reported a strong fourth quarter and a bright outlook for its current fiscal year.

THE SPARK: Hain, whose brands include Celestial Seasonings tea, Terra chips and Earth's Best baby food, on Wednesday afternoon reported adjusted earnings of 65 cents per share, 4 cents more than analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Its outlook for this year, which runs through June 2014, was for earnings of $2.95 to $3.05 per share, with revenue between $2.03 billion and $2.05 billion. Wall Street forecast profit of $2.94 per share on revenue of $2.01 billion.

THE ANALYSIS: About half the company's projected sales growth is coming from recent acquisitions, said Citi Investment Research's Gregory Badishkanian said in a client note. He has a "Buy" rating and $86 price target on Hain's stock.

A representative for Hain did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

SHARE ACTION: Up $8.73, or 12 percent, to $81.63 before a technical problem this afternoon stopped trading in shares listed on the Nasdaq. The stock struck an all-time high of $85.48 earlier Thursday. Shares of the Melville, N.Y., company are up 51 percent this year.

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